Erdogan calls on Sweden and Finland to extradite 73 “terrorists”

One of the great milestones of this NATO summit, the extension to Sweden and Finland, could not be formalized if these two countries “do not comply with what was agreed” with Turkey, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. Stockholm and Helsinki signed an agreement with Ankara for it to lift its veto and allow the entry of the two Nordic countries into the Alliance.

Specifically, it has requested that the two countries carry out legislative changes and extradite 73 “terrorists”, something that, according to him, is included in the memorandum signed by the three countries so that Turkey would lift its veto on the entry of Sweden and Finland into the Alliance. Ratification in the parliaments of each NATO member is a necessary requirement for the entry of a new country, so Ankara could definitely veto it. At first, Turkey has spoken of 33 people.

“This is the begining. We will closely monitor the implementation of the promises made in the memorandum and take action accordingly,” the Turkish leader stated at a press conference at the end of the NATO summit in Madrid. Erdogan has assured that if the two countries do not fulfill what they promised, the expansion will not be sent to the Turkish Parliament. “This is not a quick process. They know that the PKK and the YPG (two Kurdish armed groups) have to be eliminated. They have to change their laws for this and steps have to be taken,” he added.

In an interview with TVE on Wednesday, the Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, asked before accepting these extraditions “If Turkey comes with an extradition request, We will examine the request, but we will follow Swedish and European law.”, he pointed out, after defending that Sweden has adapted the legislation against terrorism and its financing. “We will never extradite Swedish citizens, and if someone is not linked to terrorist activities, you don’t have to worry,” she added.

For his part, the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, assured from Madrid “nothing changes” after the agreement with Ankara regarding the situation of pro-Kurdish militants in their country welcomed. “Our legislation fully complies with Turkey’s demands,” he said, and assured that it will not be the government that decides who has to be extradited, but in any case the courts.

Asks not to make “any discrimination” between “terrorist organizations”

The PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla active in Turkey, is considered a terrorist by the European Union and the United States, but the YPG are a Syrian militia allied with Washington in its fight against the Islamic State jihadist group. The European Union has warned in the past that hundreds of people, including opposition politicians, have been arrested in Turkey on terrorism charges.

“This determination [contra el terrorismo] it should not remain on paper. It is imperative that the struggle continues in full solidarity, without any discrimination between terrorist organizations”Erdogan has pointed out.

Asked if Turkey has a place in NATO when dozens of journalists are imprisoned, Erdogan has described this as “disinformation” and has stated that there are no informants behind bars.

The Turkish president has also referred to his relationship with Spain, a country that he considers “a close friend”. “During the most critical times, Spain has provided Turkey with Patriot anti-aircraft defense systems. Other countries have withdrawn their missiles and Spain did not”, something that has thanked our country and specifically Pedro Sánchez. In addition, it has announced the joint construction of an aircraft carrier.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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